Launched with great fanfair by India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Singapore Deputy PM Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the Singapore Fintech Festival last month, APIX has swung into action.
The APIX marketplace, developed and operated by a Virtusa-led consortium in partnership with Percipient, Deloitte and Fidor, is aimed at promoting innovative financial services, especially for unbanked communities in ASEAN and beyond.
The consortium, having successfully showcased at the Festival some of the cutting edge solutions that APIX makes possible, has begun in earnest the process of onboarding Financial Institutions and FinTechs to the platform.
APIX will enable FIs to rapidly discover, design, and deploy relevant FinTech solutions across their front, middle and back offices, via a finely-curated marketplace and a API-based sandbox.
This collaboration between FIs and FinTechs is expected to further accelerate the adoption of next gen technologies in the financial industry. These technologies offer the potential to both simplify and enhance financial services such as customer registration, payments, fund transfers, loans, etc. In its wake should be not only happier customers, but also greater inclusion of financially marginalised groups.
Navin Suri, Percipient CEO said, “We are delighted that APIX has got off to a great start. Exposing difficult-to-access data as APIs for integrating with FinTech applications is a matter of urgency for FIs across the world. The consortium’s priority now is to ensure that FIs and Fintechs alike start to experience all that APIX has to offer.”
For more info on joining APIX, contact: APIXPlatform@afin-virtusa.atlassian.net
A new type of partnership is emerging. In a world now awakening to the power of AI, there has never been a greater recognition of the need to couple the latest AI-driven applications with next gen data integration technologies.
One of the best examples of this is a recent CNBC intervew with Salesforce co-CEO, Keith Block. Since 2016, Salesforce has been actively developing and marketing its AI platform, Einstein. And then in March this year, the company announced it was planning to buy Mulesoft for US $6.5 billion, the largest deal in its history. Yet in a startlingly candid interview, Block admitted that he was initially sceptical of the Mulesoft acquisition.
Having looked at Mulesoft’s software, Block said his first thought was, “This is integration software, what does that have to do with CRM?” But then Block met with executives from a Fortune 100 financial services firm and was told that they couldn’t get data out of their legacy systems. He said, “That’s when it dawned on me that integration can be very strategic.”
The same strategy is driving Percipient’s collaboration with a number of cutting edge AI vendors. Take Moven, a mobile-first, smart banking platform. From transactions to savings to credit, Moven offers a complete AI-driven solution that connects banking products to the end customer experience.
Moven now embeds Percipient’s UniConnect platform to deliver this experience. UniConnect automatically ingests data from a bank’s backend systems, and aligns this to Moven’s AI models, thereby reducing the time-to-market for implementation of Moven’s mobile platform from months to weeks.
Percipient is focused on enabling more software vendors like Moven to demonstrate their design thinking and AI capabilities, without worrying about how to access the data that they need. More than this, our software offers AI vendors the freedom to automatically ingest previously unavailable datasets from third party or real time sources.
As Block points out, data integration may not appear to be relevant when implementing visionary new applications. That is, until faced with the reality of unfriendly legacy systems.
What are Experience APIs and why are European regulators so keen on them?
Earlier this month Facebook was fined US$11.4 million in Italy for misuse of user data. This came hot on the heels of a US$600,000 penalty imposed by the UK’s data watchdog following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
A casual observer might conclude from this that data sharing is viewed with significant suspicion by the European authorities. In fact, the reverse is true. Both the EU and UK have led the way on Open Banking, with a large set of standards and rules in place to facilitate the customer-approved sharing of banking data with third parties.
This has been made possible, in large part, by advancements in the construction of APIs, ie the mechanism that allows data to flow between systems in a secure yet highly efficient manner.
API technology is by no means new, and has been used by banks for decades to move data from one internal system to another. But modern APIs are not only more secure but also more usable, especially those that have been designed to address the specific challenge of enhancing customer experiences.
Embedded within Open Banking is the concept of an API Experience layer. Having long exposed APIs to third party developers, digitally-native companies sought to improve on their one-size-fits-all APIs but introducing an Experience layer for more purpose-built APIs. Today, FIs are also designing Experience APIs to match the use case, channel, line of business and customer journey for which the data is to be used.
The API Experience layer is built on top of the Process layer and offers functionalities that make an app developer’s life easier. This means shorter development cycles, but also more innovation, because developers can focus on meeting evolving customer demands, rather than on where to find the data that they need.
Experience APIs bring the financial industry several steps closer to the customer-centricity that Open Banking and PSD2 regulations were set up to achieve.